Overview of the online casino industry in Asian markets in 2022 – European games industry news

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The Asian gambling market has accelerated since Covid 19 opened residents’ eyes to online gambling. However, two years later, Asians are still restricted in their pursuit of online gambling for fun and profit due to heavy government sanctions on online gambling.

Many offshore online casinos have noticed this untapped opportunity and are flocking to fill the void. We have curated a list of offshore casinos for Singaporeans on our Online CasinoHEX Singapore website to help players make the right choice.

In this article, we want to discuss the current state of the gambling market in Asia, with a focus on online casinos in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan and Thailand. We hope this will make players and operators aware of the current gambling laws in these less talked about Asian regions. Let’s dive into it.

1. Singapore

Singapore is one of the best gambling spots on the Asian continent. The Singapore government has long since opened two physical betting shops where residents can participate in horse racing betting, sports betting and lotteries.

In 2005, the Singapore government also introduced Integrated Resort (IR), where residents and foreigners can play different casino games.

According to the bill, only two IR casinos are allowed to open, and the slots have since been taken by Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Sentosa. The licensing of legal casino locations proved to be a good experience as the two resorts alone increased the state budget by 14.5% in their first year of operation.

Despite the success of land-based casinos, the federal government has yet to legalize any online casinos in Singapore. However, residents flock to various offshore online casinos in Singapore to gamble and have fun. Singaporean casino sites host various i-games. However, most Singaporeans tend to be attracted to card games such as baccarat and online slots.

The government is not currently discussing the legalization of online casinos. Yet, as a country always open to innovation, online casino licensing in Singapore could be on the horizon.

2. Malaysia

Malaysia’s population is predominantly Muslim and Sharia laws are well recognized in the country. According to Sharia, all forms of gambling (land-based and online) are prohibited.

However, betting laws allow non-Muslims, foreigners and tourists to participate in lottery betting, horse racing and casino gambling in landed properties without sanction. The betting law also prohibits any form of online gambling in the country, with strict penalties for violators.

Despite the law, Malaysians still gamble online, with football and badminton making up a large portion of Malaysian betting options.


Philippine gambling laws are flexible and user-friendly. The state has at least four gaming centers in Manila and allows online sports betting, horse racing and lotteries.

The country’s licensing and gaming activities are regulated by the duo PAGCOR (Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation) and CEZA (Cagayan Economic Zone). PAGCOR is responsible for regulating local betting and bingo shops, while CEZA grants gaming licenses to offshore casinos in other regions.

As a testament to the flexibility of Philippine gambling laws, the Philippine government has opened its doors to regulated offshore casinos and even allows Filipinos to gamble online. All of these elements combined make it surprising that the government does not legalize online casinos.

Even without online casinos, the Philippine casino industry has grown steadily. According to Inside Asian Gambling (iAG), 557 million was generated by licensed casinos in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2022, and the industry doesn’t seem to want to slow down.

The success of offshore casinos in the Philippines is an indication that the government may soon review the legalization of online casinos

4. Thailand

Thailand has what it takes to be a major power in the Asian online casino and gambling market. Yet political and cultural beliefs have long blocked the growth of the country’s gambling industry.

Currently Thailand has no legal casinos and online casinos are illegal. But that hasn’t stopped residents from engaging in active online and offline casino gaming. A survey by the Center for Gambling Studies shows that almost half of Thailand’s population gambles and $5 billion was spent on sports betting alone in 2019.

Where there are no legal casinos, black market and underground gambling still flourish, and Thailand’s 200 illegal betting shops are no different. The number of offshore casinos for Thais has also continued to grow.

As the government realizes this reality, it has started to take gradual steps to legalize casino gambling in the region, starting with establishing 2-3 integrated resorts. When the casinos go live, the government believes they will increase the state’s tourism revenue, which has declined since the Covid 19 lockdown. Likewise, the landed casinos will create a regulated and safe gambling environment for residents. Thai. The legalization of online casinos in Thailand is not on the horizon at the moment.

5. Japan

Online casinos are banned in Japan. Therefore, Japanese players can choose from Pachinkohorse betting, motorcycle racing and online lottery.

However, the Japanese government has since reconsidered its stance on casino gambling. In 2018, like Singapore, the Japanese government authorized the commissioning of Integrated Resort which will allow tourists to play casinos and sports bets in regulated places.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the progress of landed casinos; however, the government has resumed accepting proposals from interested organizations. While land-based casino establishments are not suggesting the legalization of online casino gambling, this may be another win for the Asian gambling industry, given that Japan is a major pioneer on the Asian continent.

Even though land-based and online casinos are not yet allowed in Japan, the country’s betting market is expected to reach $9 billion in 2022.

As you would expect, many offshore casinos where residents gamble online and play their favorite games including slot machines. Instead of Baccarat, the Japanese have Dragon Tiger, which allows players to bet on winning the Dragon or Tiger hand.

As a tech-savvy nation, it’s also no surprise that players are drawn to live dealer games and titles enhanced with crisp graphics.


Until the Asian gambling market becomes stable and regulated, operators preparing to enter the market should be aware that there will be periods of low income as well as a high turnover. However, they should find solace in the fact that Asia is set to be the next frontier of online gambling when the government relaxes its laws.

So far, many Asian countries are decriminalizing casino gambling, greenlighting online casinos and legalizing sports betting. Current trends suggest that online slots, card games, table games and live dealers are likely to dominate the gambling scene in Asia. Until then, residents must be content with betting at land-based casinos, traveling to countries that allow online gambling, or playing online casino games at offshore casinos.

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